Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Jibe vs. Gibe vs. Jive


"Clinton Trades Jibes With North Korea" read a recent New York Times headline. 

It should have been gibe

According to the New York Times Manual of Style and Usage, "gibe means jeer or taunt. Jibe, colloquially, means conform; in sailing, it means shift."

So Clinton can trade gibes with North Korea, but North Korean actions don't jibe much to U.S. demands. 

As for jive, Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines the verb jive as to tease or cajole. It seems the difference between gibe and jive is a matter of degree: gibing is more of a mocking, while jiving is more of a teasing. 

Oh, and also dancing or playing music, as in the Jedi jiving on the T-shirt pictured. 

("Jedi Jive" T-shirt available at redbubble.com)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for that. There seems to be a whole lotta jivin' going on in the blogosphere too.

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